Amazon in a brief blog post announced it will no longer include marijuana on its drug screening program. In short, the company is now treating weed like alcohol, which means off-work employees can partake in a beer or a spliff without fear of repercussions. Of course, just like with alcohol, Amazon says it will continue to do impairment checks and screen for drugs after on-the-job incidents.
The only exception mentioned involves positions regulated by the Department of Transportation — read: truck drivers and heavy equipment operators. Applicants for those jobs will still be screened for marijuana.
This change comes as America is quickly warming to federal legalization of cannabis. Voters across the country, including conservative strongholds, are increasingly passing measures granting citizens access to the plant. From medical to recreational use, America is waking up to legal pot and Amazon doesn't want to be on the wrong side of history.
Amazon, in its statement written by Dave Clark, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, acknowledges the changing political landscape, which is opening doors to legal weed and criminal expungement:
And because we know that this issue is bigger than Amazon, our public policy team will be actively supporting The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act)—federal legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and invest in impacted communities. We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law.
This updated policy is one of the latest steps Amazon is making as its workforce is drawing closer to unionization.